Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Home Sweet Home



It really happened.  The big day came!  And I am HOME!!!!

I about fainted when the PA told me this morning that there was a good chance I would be coming home today.  I didn't want to believe her and get my hopes up, so I pretended all morning that what she really meant to say was "just one more day."  It became more real, though, when Dr. Reid came into my room at 3:45pm and asked if I was ready to go home.  I first made sure he wasn't pulling my leg, then I quickly answered "YES!"  He gave my nurse, Teresa, the discharge papers and said he was done with me.  And that was that.  I have to come back Friday for an xray, the 26th for a follow-up with Dr. Reid, after that a follow-up with Dr. Pearl, my pulmonologist, then a consultation with my oncologist to talk about "What's next?"  But you know something, I don't really care about all that at the moment because... I'm home.  It was a little weird as I packed up my hospital room, threw my hospital gown in the hamper and put my "real" clothes back on.  I felt myself slowly transforming from "patient Jamie" back to "normal everyday Jamie."
Jake snapped this picture of me, right after I came out of the bathroom, after changing out of my gown.  It felt so good not being hooked up to anything.  No tubes coming out of my body.  No IVs.  No catheters.  The steri strips on my incision had been taken off.  I was even wearing a bra.  (gasp!)  It was nice feeling 'human' again.
I began saying my goodbyes soon after changing my clothes.  My first goodbye was to Andrea, my cute cardiac rehab therapist.  (Ashley, of course you're my favorite.  Andrea is my #2, just so we are clear on that. ;) )  She is wonderful, beautiful, and funny.  So easy to talk to.  I saw her twice a day and she helped make sure I didn't push too hard on the treadmill, reminding me to "slow it down" when I would try to push my speed up just a little higher and my heart rate started to go up a little too much.  Oops.
Next I said goodbye to one of my favorite nurses, Teresa (my cute enema nurse.)  I told her she could give me another one to celebrate me getting discharged, but we both decided to pass on that one.  Teresa is such a sweetheart.  She made my hospital stay so fun and kept the humor going every minute she was there with me.  I adore her.
Teresa pushed me in a wheelchair down the hall and right in front of the nurses' station I saw about 15 nurses and CNAs lining up on both sides of the hallway.  They cheered and clapped for me, and I felt like the Queen of the Fourth Floor.  Teresa said she even felt like a princess and they weren't even cheering for her.  These awesome people really became my family these past two weeks and I love them all and will never forget them!  (Thanks Anne, Ann, and Ann E., Stacey, Patti, Devin, Gail, Jeff the RN and Jeff the Cardiac Rehab Therapist, Daniel, Melzie, Ilse, Daysi, Andrea, Joselyn, Renee, Audrey, Jean, Kelly, Aprille, Cam, Michelle, Ashley, Brittany, Desiree, Josh, Kate, Jerry, Lori Decker my PA, Devere my Pharmacist, and of course Teresa.)

We took the elevator down to the first floor and Jake ran to get the car.  Teresa and I had a few moments to reminisce about the past two weeks, and we both were happy but a tad sad about me departing.  I promised to come visit once I'm 100%, and I really will... or make a visit to her home in Syracuse.  I could become her favorite patient stalker. ;)

Jake opened the door for me and helped me climb into the car.  Teresa helped shut the door and I waved as we pulled away from the hospital.  Bittersweet, but definitely more sweet.  I left the hospital cancer-free!!!

We headed to Smith's Pharmacy before we went home so I would have my unlimited supply of happy pills.  When Jake gave the pharmacist my prescriptions, he saw my medical report and asked if I was in an "industrial accident."  Jake laughed.  Hardly.  Wonder why he said that?  We picked up my pain meds and headed home.  On the way up the hill to our house I noticed my cute friend, Selena, had turned her wreath on her door upside down, just because she knows how much I love crooked things, as noted HERE from a previous post.  I actually made Jake stop at her house, pulled into her driveway, and I walked up to her door and fixed the stupid thing.  It made me laugh.  Probably a little too much.  I had to hold my side so the stitches didn't pull.  (Thanks Selena for my "welcome home gift."  It was perfect!)  We turned onto our street and pulled into our driveway.  There was a huge "Welcome Home, Jamie" sign that Jake, my mom, and the kids had made.  It was so sweet.  Balloons were tied to the mailbox and the basketball stand.  It was a homecoming fit for a queen.  The kids ran outside, squealing, so excited to see me and have me home.  Jake had to remind them to be 'gentle' with me.  He has reminded me over and over how the next 3 weeks he's going to be on me like a hawk, reminding me to go slow and take it easy.  (A lot easier said than done, but I'll work on it.)  My mom gave me a big hug and kiss and we all went into the house together.  Home Sweet Home.

I wanted to, once again, thank everyone for all the comments, thoughts, prayers, food, babysitting, letters, e-mails, checks, sweets, massages, baths, late night jamba juices, sandwiches, all the planning and preparation going into Saturday's yard sale, and so much more.  I love you all.  I really do.  I know there are those out there reading who have never met me, but are thinking and praying for our family anyway.  We feel those thoughts and prayers.  Thank you.

Love always,
The Schipaanboord Family

PS  Here are some pics that didn't get posted over the past two weeks that I wanted to share.  (Some are a tad graphic, just warning you.)  Enjoy!

22 comments:

Crystal said...

So glad you are home! I bet it feels great. I still stand by my offer of bringing you lunch or dinner some time, if you don't think that would be too weird. I am so excited for you.

Cristi said...

Yay Jamie! So happy that you are home and recovering.

Nurse Heidi said...

That's the best news I've heard all day :)!

Erin said...

Congratulations! Take it easy. :)

Valerie: said...

I truly am glad to hear your home and doing well. I can only imagine what you were going through. How come you had that big line(stitches) in your back and those tubes going through. I thought the problem was in your throat?

sportyrls said...

Hooray! I'm so glad you're home Jamie and of course that you are cancer free. Your positive attitude and determination have always been such a good example and this is no exception. We love you!!

Ashley said...

Yay so happy that you got to go home, and in a brazierre too! Amazing! So glad that you differenciated between who was your favorite between Andrea and I :) I will call you when we get home. You are amazing Jamie!

Jenni said...

I'm so happy for you that I cried! I have been checking your blog every day and have learned what an amazing woman you are all through the internet. Hopefully one day we'll get to meet in person!

Becky said...

Yay! Yay! Yay! Take it easy and get better quickly. I am sure home will be great medicine. We love you!

The Cherry Family said...

Hooray!
Hee, hee! I called Selena and made sure she was going to do that. She said she was already planning on it! We knew you would look and of course you did!
Love,
Abby

Loree said...

yipee!!! so happy to hear the good news! I bet your kiddos are thrilled to have their mama back! don't over do it too soon! listen to your body and hooray!!!!

Ashleigh said...

Yay! I'm so glad you're finally back home. We're praying that everything continues to go well and that the x-rays all looks good. Hopefully it's a bit more smooth sailing from here. Seriously, don't push yourself too hard. Take it easy and recover! Can't wait to come visit you when you're better. Love you!

Leslie said...

Oh Jamie, I'm so happy for you! You've been such a trooper and have had so much support. You deserve it! You inspire me!

Andrea said...

So excited for you to finally be home and cancer free! What a HUGE blessing for you and your family!! Make sure you take it easy girl and let your body heal! Big Hugs from us all!

peter said...

YEA!!!!Picture me doing a little jig next to the computer. :)
Kristy

Megan said...

So happy for you! I pray for a good recovery. Take it easy and know that you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Sure love you and your family.

Rebecca said...

Home sweet home indeed! Congratulations Jamie!!! We'll keep praying for you and your family here.

Bill, Katie, Cole, and Drew said...

Yay! Best news ever!

Whitney said...

Finally! I'm so glad you're home! I'll see you on Friday. (:

Naomi said...

so happy yay!

Naomi said...

so happy yay!

Bfiles said...

i have been following your progress and am so glad that you are cancer-free and home w your family. all the best.